FFCR with Florida Youth SHINE at Children’s Week
From January 21 through 23, Marissa Leichter, FFCR’s Citizen Review Panel Program Manager, attended Florida’s Children’s Week in Tallahassee with youth and young adults from Florida Youth SHINE (Striving High for Independence and Empowerment) (FYS). Children’s Week is a comprehensive child advocacy event that brings together thousands of children, families, policymakers and community leaders for a series of events and programming to address the issues impacting Florida’s children. Marissa has served as one of the adult mentors for Youth SHINE’s Miami Chapter for more than 4 years.
Gathering with members from other Florida FYS chapters, the youth participated in breakout sessions led by their peers who serve on FYS’ board and adult mentors to prepare for their meetings with legislators at the State Capitol. During these meetings, the youth shared their personal stories and experiences in foster care and advocated for the thousands of children in Florida’s child welfare system.
Florida Youth SHINE members also had the opportunity to meet with government officials such as Zackary Gibson, Director and Chief Child Advocate at the Executive Office of the Governor; and Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem program. They discussed important topics in child welfare such as independent living, education and the current obstacles foster youth face.
FFCR is proud to support the youth involved with Florida Youth SHINE! If you know of a youth or young adult ages 13-24 who would be interested in becoming a member of FYS, please contact FYS Miami Chapter adult mentors Marissa Leichter at mleicter@fostercarereview.org or Robert Latham at rlatham@law.miami.edu.